Interview of Baker B. by Willie [omit last name] (Charleston, SC December 2000)
BEGINNING OF SIDE ONE
Willie: Good evening Baker.
Baker: Good evening Willie.
Willie: Baker, we’re here because you requested me to conduct an interview about your recently completed story, I guess we can call it: “Jordan’s Rule.” In preliminary talks about this interview, we’ve found that it seems necessary to begin by asking you about writing in general. As I understand, although you haven’t had any works published as yet, and you also don’t have a lot of absolutely finished, polished works, that you’ve been writing fiction for some time now. Both fiction and fact actually. Could you tell us about these writing efforts, and how they led up to “Jordan’s Rule?”
Baker: Sure. Most of my writing up to this point would be what you would call journal entries. Not a lot of finished works as you pointed out. Most of it has also been of a factual nature and not fictional. I’ve been doing this for about 20 years now. However, there was a period in the early 80s where I wrote what you could call exclusively fiction. From about 1982 till 1984, these consists of fictional journal entries collected in binder notebooks, not solidified in any way as far as opuses but nevertheless connected by an overarching geographic location, a fantasy location I might add on another planet from ours called Mythos. It could be called science fiction because of this I guess. *After* 1984, I abruptly switched to a more realistic type of writing which was set on Earth in very immediate locations, ones I was very familiar with. I found by doing this I could solidify actual fictional opuses, which eventually consisted of a play, an uncompleted novel, and several short stories of various lengths. This phase lasted till about 1987, when my notebooks and writing in general switched back to fact again. I’ve done a lot of writing since, but almost all of it has been of a realistic sort, although I have gone back a polished up a couple of stories from my 84-87 fictional phase.
Willie: But you didn’t make any efforts at this point to get your fiction published?
Baker: Very little. Although I thought more about it when I was in the midst of this phase, I now see it mostly as apprentice work. I’m especially thinking of the play and all the material leading up to the unfinished novel. Even the two stories I still think may be salvageable in terms of publication, created toward the end of this period when I was finally starting to get the hang of it, have what you could call major stylistic flaws. A lot of the problem was the dichotomy between workable notebook ideas and solidified opuses. I heavily leaned toward the former. Because of this my solidified writing seems very condensed, because of all the information baggage tagging along with it. It is if I needed to get as much information out as possible, which makes for sometimes very crowded works. And this is still true in my new fiction–its own strengths and weaknesses. There was always a story behind the story that was, in many ways, more interesting than the story told.
Willie: You’ve mentioned that “Jordan’s Rule’s” is changing this situation.
Baker: Yes, it seems to be at least on the edge of becoming successful fiction, and I think I’m finally finding a way to best showcase what talent I have in that area–getting away from the dichotomy of story vs. ideas and revamping my notebooks as draft areas instead of ideas in themselves. It was a long evolutionary process though. And a lot of it had to do with condensing the ideas further, toward poetry almost–especially in some of the Booker T. posts. The straight novel or the straight play, the linear process of things happening in successive time periods, doesn’t seem to work that well for me. I need a certain time density I guess you could call it, to cover up my writing weaknesses. A compression of ideas. This was the advantage of condensing my fiction within the confines of a single post, an Internet post, as on a message board.
Willie: The format of the post gave you the ability to publish immediately, albeit to a minimal audience–bypassing the fear of publication, or the fear that your material was not up to snuff before.
Baker: Most of it definitely was not up to snuff, as I am especially seeing now.
Willie: In contrast.
Baker. As a contrast, yes. And I’m still in doubt of the newer material!
Willie: What I’ve read is very good, very innovative.
Baker. Well thanks.
Willie: Okay, so this original fictional period or phase of yours somehow transforms or recreates, as an essential energy, a new fictional period that unexpected surfaces many years later. And this is done through a specific work called “The Booker T. Archive,” which was finished, as I understand, earlier this year. “The Booker T. Archive” has a very direct relationship to “Jordan’s Rule.” Can you tell us a little about that?
Baker: First of all, let me back up here and say that in the original fictional phase of about 84-87, although those works were obviously weak in terms of craft, where I did think they were a bit interesting–at least this is the aspect that most interested me–was that they were all connected, that is, the storylines, in many ways, carried over into the next work, and they shared many of the same characters. The only way to really understand what was going on within them, to grasp the bigger picture, was to read all the works in order.
Willie: Can’t you classify any author’s work as such? I mean, to get a better picture of the author himself, you have to read a selection of works, perhaps in chronological order, perhaps not..
Baker: That’s not exactly what I was talking about. The reason I bring it up essentially is that you have the same type of thing, the interconnection, happening in the relationship between the works of this new fictional period which “Jordan’s Rule” is the latest, but apparently not last, example of…as we will get to. And I think the same thing is happening: one will seem incomplete without a comprehension of the others, and how they relate.
Willie: I’m not really sure what you’re getting at here. Perhaps we should just start with the evolution of “The Booker T. Archive,” the immediate predecessor of “Jordan’s Rule.” I think a very interesting story about this, especially to other writers, is how this evolved from posts on a message board, the SynchBoard from a site called The Synchronicity Arkive. Can you tell us about how you got involved with this message board, and how “The Booker T. Archive” evolved from it.
Baker: Okay. The original attraction is through what is called a film/album synchronicity, specifically the playing together of Pink Floyd’s classic concept album *Dark Side of the Moon,* with MGM’s equally classic, *The Wizard of Oz* movie starring Judy Garland. In 1997, when this overlay became known to the general public through publicity on a radio show in Boston, it became kind of a craze–I like to compare it to the Paul is Dead Beatles hoax from the late 60s, when everyone was playing their Beatles records backwards to find more messages about Paul being killed in a supposed car accident in 1966. Similarly, a lot of people across the country were now renting *The Wizard of Oz* and playing it with the *Dark Side of the Moon* cd they already had or borrowed from a friend–almost everybody knows someone who has the cd in fact. One of the reasons why it was so popular was because of the easy set up, and the components being so readily accessible in most cases. When the craze hit, several web sites had already been set up about the phenomenon; it had been known several years beforehand. These sites suddenly became inundated with hits. One of these was Mike Johnston’s Synchronicity Arkive, which became the best source on “Dark Side of the Rainbow” on the Internet–this was the name it was called on the Internet. Another was Shawn Hare’s The Definitive List, which gave a very complete list, as advertised, on the individual match ups you would find when you play the two components together. But Mike’s was the primary one, mainly because it was professional looking and Mike had a lot of theories about the synch. He even appeared in an MTV interview with Alan Parsons, the producer of *Dark Side,* and another former member of Pink Floyd–Snowy White I believe…I may be wrong there. Anyway, the Synchronicity Arkive was the main purveyor of “Dark Side of the Rainbow” popularity after the initial wave, and as I was just absolutely stunned by the power of the synchronicity, how odd it was, I began to hang around the message board of the site to see what others were saying about it. For several months I didn’t post too much on the board, just read. Then I began posting as baker b., my name, after some research on my own about “Dark Side of the Rainbow.” It began to occupy a central place in my creativity.
Willie: As a reader of this interview can tell, we’ve alighted on a favorite subject for Baker, and one, I might add, he has a detailed web site on now called The Ultimate Pink Floyd Synchronicities. But I think its very important to know that “Dark Side of the Rainbow” became, in essence, the center of your creativity after that, including later, both “The Booker T. Archive” and “Jordan’s Rule.” It’s been your center for, what, 3 years now as you explained to me earlier.
Baker: Yes, ever since 1997.
Willie: Back to “The Booker T. Archive.” You began to visit the message board. You took notes on “Dark Side of the Rainbow,” and found what you call some odd things about it.
Baker: I realized that something was going on beneath the surface of it. Dispelling the idea that the synch was created on purpose by Pink Floyd, which is still a popular theory despite various band members’ denials and no solid evidence of this being found, it began to move more and more toward the idea of true synchronicity.
Willie: This is a subject you’d been interested in for some time. This is how, in fact, you ran across the Synchronicity Arkive site–on a random search for the word “synchronicity” on the Internet.
Baker: Yes, it’s too long a story to go on about here, but my interest in Jungian synchronicity is, in fact, what pulled me out of fiction in the first place. I analyzed my creativity at that point in 1987, which included art and music as well as writing, and decided that the area with the most potential interest, the most potential for development, was in the area of maps and synchronicity. From 1987 to 1997 you could call essentially the era of map synchronicity in my writings.
Willie: As you say, I don’t know if we have time for a long discussion of this idea here, but eventually map synchronicity and “Dark Side of the Rainbow” came together. You at least found that they came together.
Baker: Some of these ideas I don’t want to publish here, but yes they began to mesh and tie into each other. This probably would be the most controversial but potentially the most interesting and valuable aspect of my synchronicity research. The melding of these two fields that I had worked this subject. I should add that the two fields are a) maps, and b) film/album synchronicities, with the later dominated by but not exclusively “Dark Side of the Rainbow.” There are certainly some other interesting synchronicities out there. For example, Mike Johnston, on his web site, heavily promotes what is probably still the second best known synchronicity, one that involves playing the second side of another Pink Floyd album called *Meddle* with the last section of the *2001: A Space Odyssey* movie. One of the purposes of Mike’s site, as I understand it, was to say that this synch is actually more interesting and profound than Dark Side of the Rainbow, at least that’s how I understood the site. Another was to promote other synchs–“Dark Side of the Rainbow” isn’t unique. It was less successful in this way, simply because most of the important ones have been discovered more recently as new web sites were set up.
Willie: Such as yours.
Baker: Yes… and *yours.*
Willie: Okay, we can deal with that if you wish.
Baker: Well, I think its pertinent, since you’re a character in “Jordan’s Rule.” Actually in our preliminary talks we were originally going to mention that at first, because that’s one of the reasons I strongly wanted you to do this interview.
Willie: And *you* are in “Jordan’s Rule” as well. Our characters interact. And in very interesting ways.
Willie. Well…so let’s get down to the crux since it is brought up. This idea of synchronicity; It’s one I’ve had a lot of problems with. And I think a lot of people see it as a vague pseudoscientific idea that may actually have no application to “Dark Side of the Rainbow” or any other film/album synchronicity. That it is all more or less chance occurrences caused by the immense possibilities for overlaps. I know that Shawn Hare, who you’ve mention runs one of the other popular sites on “Dark Side of the Rainbow,” dismisses the idea out of hand…as well as the intent factor. Or map synchronicities for that fact, although you haven’t presented very much of that information in a public forum. Can you defend your idea of synchronicity–what you call true synchronicity. This involves the theories of Carl Jung, the rather famous pupil of Sigmund Freud and a fellow proponent of psychoanalysis. How does this all tie in with “Dark Side of the Rainbow”…and “The Booker T. Archive” and “Jordan’s Rule” if you wish?
Baker: First of all, I agree with Shawn, and perhaps yourself, that most film/album synchronicities are not true synchronicities. Most oddities found within are probably chance. Almost all of them probably. And, like Shawn, and unlike some other less developed sites that have cropped up on the Internet more recently, I don’t believe that presently any of these film/album synchronicities were created on purpose, although I’m leaving open the possibility that some purposeful synchronicities will evolve in the *future.* I’m saying this because if you rule out chance for any film/album synchronicity or aspect of that synchronicity, and you rule out intent, as most of the older and more established sites do–and I’m including mine and probably yours in this group…
Willie: Okay, I’ll buy that.
Baker. …what we have left, in the middle, between what we can call these two extremes, is the possibility, *possibility,* for odd matches in synchronicities to be not purposeful, or done by either of the two involved film or album creators, not chance, or created by the infinite combination of a random universe, but what we can call noncausal, to use a Jungian term, or created *as if* on purpose, but where no causal purpose can exist.
Willie: Wouldn’t this come under the rubric of chance then?
Baker: No it would be different from chance. There is a substantial body of literature, I might add, on this subject that has sprung out of Jung’s central concept of the idea. This includes a work by the author Arthur Koestler, whose novel *Darkness at Dawn*, was #3 on a list of the 100 best works of fiction for the 20th Century. As I understand, the popularity of Koestler’s work on the subject, called *The Roots of Coincidence,* was an important reason the word entered the public domain during the free thinking 60s. The word is now out of purely psychological circles and has entered the Webster’s dictionary. A related term is archetype, which Jung also helped popularize.
Willie: We seem to be circling around the subject here though. What exactly is synchronicity then?
Baker: We must start with Jung, who, as I said, helped popularize the term. Jung described it as the overlap of two causally unrelated events that nevertheless seem to create an implied meaning, often a very specific meaning.
Willie: What do you mean by causal?
Baker: The ordinary chain of events that seem to create our world. Action and interaction among things. The idea of a billiard ball being knock into another billiard ball to cause it to move is an often used analogy here. It is the Newtonian world, the idea that everything can be predicted through advanced calculus and exists in a phase space of three dimensions, totally known through the x, y, and z coordinates. Nothing can enter this system from outside. The mechanized universe kind of idea. This was the main idea of science from Newton’s time to the 20th Century, until Einstein. Einstein put a crimp in it with his two publications on Theory of Relativity, and the radical ideas of quantum physics formulized shortly afterwards dealt this idea a further blow. It seems that modern physics, in resonance with modern psychology, is quite a bit further along in terms of understanding noncausal effects than other fields, for example, economics or even the other hard sciences such as biology or chemistry. There is even a very important overlap between modern psychology and modern physics that directly relates to our discussion here, involving a coordination between Wolfgang Pauli, a leader in the quantum physics field, and Carl Jung. From the dialogue between these two geniuses, two obvious leaders in their field, came the idea of synchronicity–synchronicity as an additional element beyond the causal realm of 3-dimensions. This would involve the 4th dimension, or the dimension of time. Essentially speaking, we are talking of something that cannot be tested.
Willie: I’m sitting here listening to you and I realize that I still don’t understand the concept of synchronicity.
Baker: Let’s then use the idea of “Dark Side of the Rainbow,” which I think contains perceivable examples of classic synchronicity or Jungian synchronicity. One of the best examples is the introduction of the character Almira Gulch on her bike, the Kansas double of the Wicked Witch of the West, just as a cacophony of bells begins in the overlapping *Dark Side of the Moon.* In the version I run, this match up is exact, that is, the bells should begin ringing as soon as the bike begins to traverse the screen. What seems to put this out of mere chance–and remember we’re ruling out intent in this instance–is the implied meaning. On the surface, the bells seem to be introducing an important new character to the film, and, by the way, this is the first time in the film that we also see any perceivable jump in time. Beneath this surface, however, bubbles even more weirdness, much of which is connected to Syd Barrett, a former member of Pink Floyd that obviously influenced other aspects of *Dark Side of the Moon.* Specifically where similar bells are found in a Barrett penned song called “Bike,” off Floyd’s very first album in 1967. It *seems* that Pink Floyd created this association on purpose, the overlap of Gulch’s bike and the bells, to echo the bells in the “Bike” song. However, this would go against all the evidence that Floyd didn’t created the *Wizard of Oz*-*Dark Side of the Moon* synchronization on purpose, for example, all the sources documenting non-Oz reasons for various *Dark Side of the Moon* songs. If we rule out chance, and I think there is enough evidence here to support such an argument, we can properly view it in terms of synchronicity. This is what excites me the most about the film/album synchronicity field…and you have evidence for it in other film/album synchronicities as well.
Willie: I would ask about a specific synchronicity, but I guess that would blow my cover.
Baker: We don’t want to do that!
Willie: I’m not sure 100% what you’re getting at still, but let’s move on. We’re lagging far behind our scheduled timetable, and I fear that we’re not going to get to much important material later on.
Baker: I don’t have anywhere to go.
Willie: Well I guess neither have I then. I think this is an important document at least to the film/album synchronicity field, and perhaps beyond that. And it is one aspect, obviously the central aspect of your theories, that I’m very vague about, and admittedly dubious towards. As it is the centerpiece of your theories though, and an important aspect of *all* your creativity as I understand it, we must explore the subject further.
Baker: It’s going to come up again in “Jordan’s Rule.” How it originated. And that will involve you and me directly!
Willie: Quite right. That should be interesting. Well, let’s get back to the mainstream shall we. “Jordan’s Rule.” Okay, “The Booker T. Archive.” Now you found evidence that “Dark Side of the Rainbow” was more than it appeared. I’ve been cleared to say that this is what you perceive of as a second synchronicity, that “Dark Side of the Rainbow” is actually two synchronicities, that appear equal in your view. And we can call these both film/album synchronicities?
Baker: Yes, let’s call them that…for clarity’s sake. The important thing here is that one is the known aspect of “Dark Side of the Rainbow” and one is a totally unknown aspect, as far as I can tell. And I’ve been monitoring all “Dark Side of the Rainbow” sites for several years now, with not a modicum of evidence to the contrary.
Willie: Doesn’t this seem to imply that you are deceiving yourself? That possibly you and you alone created this second synchronicity and only you have the ability to see it?
Baker: I don’t think so, but let’s leave that question for now and simply say that the discovery of what I saw as a second and equal synchronicity to “Dark Side of the Rainbow,” or the second “Dark Side of the Rainbow” synchronicity I should say, eventually spurred the creation of the original Booker T. posts, on Mike Johnston’s SynchBoard. Booker T.’s messages were created to counter the Floyd intent theorists then very common on the SynchBoard, implying instead a Jungian synchronicity origin for “Dark Side of the Rainbow” by creating an imaginary and noncausal source, specifically in an extraterrestrial being called Brainard. In essence, Booker believed that this extraterrestrial being created “Dark Side of the Rainbow” from the 4th dimension; he had the ability to traverse time from his home planet in the Sirius star system some 8 light years distant from us, and alter the components of the synch to make them mesh with each other, creating the perceived film/album synchronicity of “Dark Side of the Rainbow.” However, Booker’s theory was that he also created this unknown aspect of “Dark Side of the Rainbow” as a counterpart to the original.
Willie: Okay, I’m looking at the notes you gave me on “The Booker T. Archive,” which I’ve studied over a bit. In the first post, it says that, and I’m quoting, “Contrary to some opinion, DSOTM (*Dark Side of the Moon*) appears to originate not in Pink Floyd but within *The Wizard of Oz.* I will refer to this unknown creator as Brainard, alternately Brainerd”–I should add here for transcription purposed that the first Brainard has an “a” in the second syllable and the second an “e”–and then the next sentence says: “Brainard drew in lunar DSOTM from the outside to complement his solar nature.” There’s also some material on a so called Magic Square of Iowa, and something about alchemy, but you highlight this sentence as being important to my understanding of “The Booker T. Archive.” Can you tell me why this is important now?
Baker: Well, it’s as I was saying. In Booker terms, Brainard created the other half of the “Dark Side of the Rainbow” synchronicity. What I *perceive* as the other half. The image of Brainard was modeled after the fake head in the Wizard’s chamber scene of *The Wizard of Oz,* the one that told Dorothy and the others they had to procure the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West before he could grant their wishes for certain gifts. The character and image of Brainard actually has its source in the *older* fiction from the 80s.
Willie: Well, I’m confused enough as it is now. Let’s not go back and explain that resonance right now. Okay, so we have Booker’s creation of Brainard. Am I wrong that Booker is an extension of you, that he believed this other half of “Dark Side of the Rainbow” was the counterpart of the first, the one known and publicized through the Internet, and that he wanted to make people aware of this other half through his posts, which gradually evolved into the whole “Booker T. Archive” with its 20 something posts?
Baker: Essentially yes. Booker was set up to promote Oz and Jungian synchronicity. To counter the heavily Floydian influence of all sources on “Dark Side of the Rainbow.”
Willie: Don’t you see that, given your admitted love of Oz, a fetish I think you call it in other places, makes it seem you’re just creating this other so-called synchronicity, this Oz synchronicity as you might call it…
Baker: You can call it that I guess.
Willie: …to promote your love of Oz. Even if you see it as a true synchronicity, you’re deluding yourself. A self reflection of some sort. I don’t mean to bring this up harshly, but something I think that any rational person would have cross their minds.
Baker: “The Booker T. Archive,” understood for what it really is, provides evidence to the contrary. However, no, as I don’t promote this material openly, I can’t totally dispel your idea that it was all created by accident. We seem to be entering the domain of “Jordan’s Rule” again don’t we?
Willie: You mean as the two characters in “Jordan’s Rule?” Perhaps. But I’m talking about reality now. What in “The Booker T. Archive” can you tell us *openly* promotes this opinion?
Baker: First of all, let me say that the character of Brainard promotes the idea of the fourth dimension as a valid additional element to our common world-view, and, as I’ve said, the fields of modern psychology and modern physics, as well as some others, seem to be ahead of us in this respect. I don’t really believe an extraterrestrial from Sirius created “Dark Side of the Rainbow.” It doesn’t really matter how it was created…he is merely a symbol of synchronicity. And this is where the map synchronicities I’d already honed the message of come into play here–the mesh of map synchronicities and film/album synchronicities, especially surrounding “Dark Side of the Rainbow,” which I perceive as a center of the film/album synchronicities as a whole.
Willie: A lot of people would argue with you about that one. Perhaps me for one.
Baker: Yes, I guess it would seem to perhaps say that your own synchronicities lie on the periphery. In terms of pure synchronicity, I think my theories still stand on this subject. Your own synchronicities are different. I can’t say how, but they involve more art. It’s the difference between objective and subjective art that we’ve discussed briefly in other settings. I don’t think you can compare my and your main focuses in this area in terms of Jungian synchronicity. Admittedly, though, I think this is where you’re heading, ideally I mean. I don’t mean that you’ll see it totally from my perspective, but you’ll enter the synchronicity realm from another angle, a fresh angle. I think your art will take off when that happens. I don’t think we’re arguing against each other in as much as you’re resisting an idea that is not well established, but appears as the most logical solution to many problems film/album synchronicities pose, with the obvious case being “Dark Side of the Rainbow.” You have chance on one side (puts two hands on one knee) and intent or purposeful creation on the other (moves hands to other knee). I’m proposing that there exists a middle ground between these two extremes and the best label we have for this middle ground is synchronicity, Jungian style if you will.
Willie: Our discussion of “Jordan’s Rule” seems to be evolving into this perhaps centrally perceived difference between us. But lets move it to “Jordan’s Rule,” and I catch the impression you wanted to make to me with your knee thing. If you can’t explain synchronicity specifically through “The Booker T. Archive,” how is “Jordan’s Rule” different?
Baker: Let me begin with the context. “The Booker T. Archive” was created over about a year and a half period, an accumulation of posts first presented on the SynchBoard, from the Synchronicity Arkive. These details, as I’ve said, veiled information of what I perceive as a hidden side of “Dark Side of the Rainbow,” a second complementary synchronicity. Some of this involves a science fiction setting…I should say these posts are arranged in 3 tiers of basically 10 posts. This is borrowed from Pythagorean theories about the number 10 being the number of totality, referenced in the triangular symbol of the tetrad, the major symbol of Pythagorean thought as I understand. Simply put, this triangle contains 4 rows of dots, the first row containing 1 dot, the second 2, third 3, and fourth 4…to make a total of 10. This image is also at the end of Larry Jordan’s *Sophie’s Place.* This is one of the reasons I was attracted to making it a part of some Booker T. style posts in the first place.
Willie: I know I’ve been rather harsh on you playing the devil’s advocate, but I will say that I love the fluidity of “The Booker T. Archive,” how one post flows into another. The structure of the archive in three interconnected tiers is also very interesting. And you say this is from the Pythagorean idea of 10, as I have it here in my notes, as the number of limits, the end of all numbers. Now, I find this interesting because “Jordan’s Rule” continues this structure–it also has 10 posts. Do you see “Jordan’s Rule” as a kind of additional–4th I guess–tier of “The Booker T. Archive?” Why then is it seen by you as separate from this archive? What are its differing qualities? I know the storylines are connected, for example.
Baker: You are correct. Originally I did see “Jordan’s Rule” perhaps as a 4th tier of “The Booker T. Archive.” And it certainly did evolve directly out of the former–as you say, the storylines are continuous between the two in many ways. What may set it apart, actually, is the character I based on *you.* The seed of “Jordan’s Rule” is very unique, and you have a part in this. The structure of the 10 posts of the tier are more unified than any similarly numbered tiers in the BTA. You have three stories which are given three posts apiece to develop, with each of the three stories taking turns in successive posts, a round robin type of deal. In the 10th post, in true Pythagorean fashion perhaps, you have a wrap up involving all three stories. A concluding or capping post that spells the limit of “Jordan’s Rule.”
Willie: Describe these three stories if you will.
Baker: I should add that each story is given a color, one of the primary colors of light in red, green, and blue. This association is established by the background I provide them on their respective pages, which is the same in each case except for the change of color. The first story is given the color red. It is the most fantastic of the three, involving the movement of baker, based upon moi (baker points to himself), and a strange sponge-like sentient character named Darwin whose image is modeled after the Nickelodeon character SpongeBobSquarePants, a personal favorite. One could say he is a very mischievous SpongeBob, as well as a type of all-knowing entity. He has more insight, perhaps of a prescient, psychic nature, than any other character in “Jordan’s Rule.” Or Booker T.’s archive for that matter. He evolves out of Booker’s archive, the third tier to be specific.
Willie: I, of course, have read the entire “Jordan’s Rule” by now, and this part of the story reminds me of *Alice in Wonderland* specifically. It’s a switch from one fantastic situation to another, without rest. First you have them talking at this concert on top of a mountain, then they look through this…viewing machine, down into the surrounding valley.
Baker: To be technically correct, they are in the mountains, on the edge of the mountain plateau, and the valley they look into is the Piedmont, only on one side. This is because it is based upon a particular place that I have to state that here.
Willie: Okay, one side only. And so they look through this viewing machine down into the valley, and they see *themselves* staring back at them. Then by viewing themselves, they seem to be transported into these other selves. I guess this is kind of like the idea at the end of 2001, where the astronaut–I can’t remember his name right off–kept seeing himself in the white prison or palace or whatever it was–the white Victorian rooms–and was, in the process, transferred into this other self. And this happens again in the 3rd and last post of the Baker-Darwin story I guess we can call it, when they reach the moon. It’s such a fantastic story it’s hard to describe without sounding silly.
Baker: Exactly so. The 2001 example is a good comparison, and possibly I subconscious used that as a model. Getting back to the stories then, this first most fantastic story is then tied into a second story which seems unrelated at first. In fact all three stories seem unrelated except when you view them as a whole. But this second story involves Willie…the character somewhat based upon you, taking your name for example…and how baker, based somewhat upon me again, made him move to a remote county in Kentucky to study a film/album synchronicity he found, specifically “Sophie’s No. 9”
Willie: I should add here that our baker, the flesh and blood one being interviewed, actually did discover this synchronicity, which is an overlap between the end of the Beatle’s *White Album* and a work from this experimental California animator named Larry Jordan, a basic unknown as I understand it.
Baker: Unknown in general film circles yes. Not unknown in experimental animation circles. He is, for example, one of the few experimental animator whose main body of work is available on videotape. Thus the reason I found him in the first place.
Willie: The title “Jordan’s Rule” comes from Larry Jordan. Is that correct?
Baker: Yes. The story is kind of a tribute to his animation, which I admire greatly. The title “Jordan’s Rule” refers to the fact that the two animation tapes that I own by him, the aforementioned full length animation *Sophie’s Place* from 1986, and a tape of his shorter animation created in the 60s and 70s essentially, are presently my two favorite tapes–they rule at the top of my film list if you will. A life body of work almost, and this is one the very interesting things about it. You can see the cycles of the life creativity play out before you in successive pieces.
Willie: Sounds like the fluidity of the Booker T. posts…and the “Jordan’s Rule” posts! Tell us a little about how you discovered “Sophie’s No. 9.” I know this is an interesting story.
Baker: Let me explain first that the whole of “Jordan’s Rule,” as it turns out, was built around the resulting synchronicity (“Sophie’s No. 9”) I found between the Beatles *White Album,* the last three songs of that album to be specific, and a corresponding 15 minute section of Larry Jordan’s *Sophie’s Place*, beginning about 2/5ths the way into the film. However, when I began “Jordan’s Rule,” I hadn’t even found this synchronicity–the first post, for instance, was created without any knowledge of it. It was only when trying to develop the character of Willie McIntosh, the one I based somewhat on you (points to Willie the interviewer), that I found the synch through directly related notes. To begin, I must explain that the name Willie McIntosh comes from a conjunction of villages named Willie and McIntosh in Liberty County, Georgia, which, in turn, resonates with another close proximity of towns in New Mexico named Willard and McIntosh. I think this may be a little confusing to talk about. Let me just say that there were a complex of what I term map synchronicities surrounding the name Willard, and many involved musical terms such as note and beat, as well as specific musical creators, especially the related words Beethoven and Beatle. The later especially seemed to peak in Carter County, Kentucky through the proximity of a town named Willard with both a Beetle and another town name Music. The town names Beetle and Music are essentially unique to this county in terms of U.S. town names, and I’m using the 2,000,000 plus entries of the GNIS database as my guide in determining this. The names Willard and those beginning with B-e-e-t are especially connected in terms of map synchronicities. The movement of Willie McIntosh from Liberty County, Georgia to Carter County, Kentucky was simply a movement of the Willard archetype more toward the center, the perceived center of its map resonance if you will. I should add here that Willie and Willard are connected to me through an old friend who I still occasionally see named Willard, but whom we use to call Willie sometimes. And to make this even more complicated, Willie/Willard was directly involved with a man named Carter, who I also mention near the end of “Jordan’s Rule.” Tell me if this is getting too complicated.
Willie: I think it sort of makes sense–but it is complicated. It would help if I have the maps to look at…I know you’ve explained this type of thing in different contexts to me, but the general idea is that Willie McIntosh is directly wedded to the map conjunction his name originated from, and this is why, in “Jordan’s Rule,” the character is from Liberty County, Georgia.
Baker: Actually the character originates in the last three posts of “The Booker T. Archive,” called, collectively, “The Door.”
Willie: Let’s hold off on that for a moment and get back to Carter County in “Jordan’s Rule.”
Baker: Well, in Willie McIntosh’s move to Carter County, which is attributed to baker in “Jordan’s Rule”–in fact, it is admitted that Willie McIntosh is a character baker created–the source actually is that Carter County is the perceived center, by me, for the Willard resonance in maps. And it is a pretty deep resonance, as it turns out, being connected, for example, with the George Willard character in Sherwood Anderson’s *Winesburg, Ohio.*
Willie: I want to get back to Sherwood Anderson, because his name keeps cropping up in your writings, but go on.
Baker: That’s why Willie McIntosh moves to Carter County thus, to move the Willard map archetype from the periphery to the center. In this way, Carter County is sealed by baker…Willie is somehow almost trapped in this county as it turns out, against his will somehow, as the *author* baker–me–works out some of the depth behind this center. And one of the quite unexpected finds in this, after the move was made, was that the names of the county seem to predict the finding of “Sophie’s No. 9.”
Willie: We seemed to have made a big loop without getting to the original subject: the immediate circumstances surrounding the finding of this synchronicity.
Baker: Well, I knew I wanted to do something with *Sophie’s Place.* It was my favorite film, along with what I saw as the complementary Jordan short animation video, and I think it was natural to try to find a film/album synchronicity to go along with it. Kind of like you and your Tragically Hip experiments, because you’re so into them as well. As it turns out, when I looked up Sophie in the GNIS, only a variation name appeared, and this happened to be in Carter County, Kentucky of all places, the place I’d already assigned for your character Willie to live in during “Jordan’s Rule.” And, moreover, very near the town Beetle that I had already associated with the towns Willard and Music in that same county, and with the group Beatles. I think I naturally began to associate the Beatles and *Sophie’s Place* together, and, more specifically, the collage surrealism of “Revolution No. 9” with the similarly bizarre collage elements in Jordan’s masterwork –and although you may frown upon this opinion, I think I knew somehow that the two were linked together, could feel it if not rationally explain it. I remember thinking of creating a *fictional* film/album synchronicity that perhaps Willie finds, and then, in thinking this, decided to try it out for real–simply seeing if “Revolution No. 9″ and *Sophie’s Place* seem to fit well together in an overall way. So I remember getting up from my computer to go the basement and the tv where I could play music and film simultaneously, all the time feeling rather silly at trying a fictional synch. But when I popped in *Sophie’s Place,* stopped at a completely random place during the previous viewing, and started Revolution No. 9” on the *White Album,* something magical occurred, although I didn’t realize it immediately. But after viewing the resulting match up for about 30 seconds or so, I realized that *what I was viewing* was a very legitimate synch, and it kept on going for another 10 strong minutes or so. In fact, it took me quite some time to *recreate* this synch, in the meantime trying many variations, all of which seemed quite a bit weaker. Thus it seems that the synchronicity found me, as I like to explain it, instead of visa versa. Or “Sophie’s No. 9” was waiting for me to simply try the components out in order to find it.
Willie: Have you since tried other variations of “Sophie’s No. 9,” to test your idea that this is the one and only true synch between the two components?
Baker: As I stated I did automatically try out some variations when trying to recreate what I had originally seen when essentially throwing the two components together. But no, I haven’t tried a lot of variations since then. It just seems it’s the right way to set it up. I mean, the synchronicity spans what is perhaps the strongest and most consistent stretch of collage art in the whole film, centered on this gigantic naked guy with one arm, placed within the Hagia Sophia, a famous Islam mosque in Constantinople and where some of the action of *Sophie’s Place* takes, uh, *place* (laughs)…the origin of the name *Sophie’s Place* as I understand it as well. It seemed a center of the film, especially the about 2 1/2 minute black and white film within a film at the center of the synchronicity overlap itself. This is where the synchronicity also seems to peak…I’m thinking specifically of the revolving dodecahedron, the involved actions of which actually make a lot more sense when combined with “Revolution No. 9” than with the film’s original soundtrack.
Willie: Perhaps you should write Jordan himself and tell him of your amazing find.
Baker: I want to actually…he’s about 70 now and may or may not still be the head of the film department at a California college…can’t remember the name right offhand.
Willie: Okay, let’s get back to “Jordan’s Rule.” So you planted Willie McIntosh the character within the confines of Carter County to be in the center of these Willie/Willard map resonances, and, low and behold, you found out that this led to a synchronicity called “Sophie’s No. 9,” through the presence of a Sophie and a Beetle town conjunction in this same county. “Sophie’s No. 9” then takes over as the center of “Jordan’s Rule?” Or at least the Willie McIntosh series of posts–I think these have the green background, correct?
Baker: Yes, Willie the character was assigned, by baker, to study “Sophie’s No. 9” while in Carter County. An office was assigned to him in order to do this study, and a report was to be made for the character baker. The *actual* idea behind this idea was that, for me personally, I felt the odd circumstances leading to the discovery of the synchronicity, as well as the power of the discovered synchronicity, may lead to another complex of synchronicities such as I felt “Dark Side of the Rainbow” already did. I was, in effect, testing out all the possibilities of “Sophie’s No. 9” to see if it was a part of such a larger complex. The Willie character’s assignment of studying “Sophie’s No. 9” within the trapping confines of Carter County was an extension of my own wish to find more connected with the synchronicity. As it turns out, as I determined more recently, toward the end of composing “Jordan’s Rule” in fact, I don’t think “Sophie’s No. 9” is part of a larger complex–although it may have some kind of implied meaning within itself, and I’ve taken some notes on this and may create a small web site on this interpretation sometime in the near future. What I *do* think now is that “Sophie’s No. 9” is directly connected with your *own* experiments with Jordan, the shorts specifically.
Willie: All this has to do with the concept of synchronicity again, as you’ve explain to me. Jungian synchronicity that is. Okay, we’re still on the second story of “Jordan’s Rule” and have yet to get to the third. Let’s go back to this Jordan short synchronicity, which, as you’ve said, is something I personally created, from the Jordan’s short animations you taped for me actually. And this has a lot to do, in turn, with the actual genesis of “Jordan’s Rule.” I want to get to the third story as soon as we can, but perhaps we should leap into this first, just to complete this whole Jordan film/album synchronicity line of thought.
Baker: Do you want me then just to discuss your own synchronicity experiments with Jordan? I know you’ve given me permission to bring this up, but I just want to double check. I think it would be the logical way to proceed. And perhaps it can only be understood in the context of our Spring/Summer emailing. Do I have the green light to go forth with this?
Willie: Sure. I’ll jump in when I have something to add to your analysis. And I’ll try to keep mum about the disagreements, at least until my allotted rebuttal time! Tell you what though–let’s take a break first and return to this. It seems we may be about at the half way point in our interview. We’ll say that anyway.
Baker: Sounds good to me. I could go for a double mocchachino over at Starbucks. Want to go with me?
Willie: I don’t want any coffee but I’ll certainly ride over there with you.
Baker: We’ll be back within thirty minutes.
Willie: Okay, I’m turning off the tape…now.
END OF SIDE ONE.
BEGINNING OF SIDE TWO.